Dreary Day Reads: Books for Rainy Days

Hello, friends! 

The days are getting darker. It’s dark when I leave for work and the evenings are getting darker and colder too. No more strolling around the neighbourhood while the sun sets or going for ice cream late at night.

Right now, whe weather is okay where I live, but they’ve forecast a lot of rain for the end of the week. And since I live in a country where it raines quite often, I thought I’d share my favourite books to read on dreary days.

I love to pick up any one of these books and curl up in bed with a blanket and a box of chocolates in reach.

  • We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson: because it’s very bleak and it’s about the end of the world (kind of) and, somehow, reading this book on a sunny day doesn’t feel right.
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: because you get to escape your own (dreary) world and immerse yourself into a wonderfully, magical one. Any of the HP are good but if I had to choose, I’d probably pick Prisoner of Azkaban because it’s my favourite or the Half-Blood Prince because it’s a bit darker and because I remember it was raining and there was a thunder storm when I got the part where a certain someone dies. It’s stuck by me as a “rainy day book” ever since.
  • History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera or any other Silvera book: because you can go outside afterward and let the rain wash away your tears.
  • One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus: because who doesn’t love a good mystery on a rainy day?
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: because it’s a beautifully written book about the lives of a blind French girl and a Germany boy / soldier during WWII. The prose is stunning and the story captivating. You won’t want to put this one done before you’ve reached the last page.
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: because it transports your rainy day to another time and place. No one knows how to write dreary settings and lives better than Charles Dickens.
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brönte: because a rainy day is perfect for a dark, gothic novel like Wuthering Heights. You’ll find very little happiness in this book but the storylines are captivating and the descriptions of the moors and the English countryside in general are beautiful and mesmerizing.

Would / Do you like to read any of these books on a rainy day? Which are your own favourites? Let me know in the comments!

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Books I Wish Were Part of the School Syllabus

Hello, friends! 

For most of you, school has started back up again. I don’t go to school anymore, but the start of the new year always makes me nostalgic. This time, I was thinking about the books I was required to read in school and then that got me thinking about all the books I wish were part of the school syllabus. I had great fun thinking up my fictional school syllabus so I thought, “Why not make a post about it and share it with you all?” and so here I am.

These are the books I wish were required reading in school…

English

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley: How can you not fall in love with English literature after reading this one? Seriously, the book is filled with references to classic (and a few contemporary!) books that will make you want to read all of them.

Geography

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: Violet and Finch grow closer as they discover “the wonders of their state” together.

History

All the Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr because it’s a beautifully written book about both sides of the war, told through the POV of a blind, French girl and a German boy who’s part of Hitler’s army.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank because it’s a real life account (non-fiction) of what it was like to live during WWII.

Maths

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: There’s so much maths in this one! Why? Because main character Colin “is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.” He uses a lot of mathematical equations throughout the novel, which are explained in the appendix of the book. Fun fact: they are all explained by a real mathemetician called Daniel Biss.

Physics

My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga: Aysel is depressed and suicidal, but she’s also passionate about physics. In a way, thinking about her potential energy helps her give life another chance.

Social Studies

More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera because it’s deeply emotional read about finding out who you are and being okay with it even when it’s not “socially acceptable” (meaning: your friends and family might not accept you for it)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: this one is highly relevant in today’s society and a must-read for everyone. The story is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

P.E.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I never liked P.E., but I’m telling you, reading this book made me wish I’d tried harder. Being physically fit might come in handy after all.

Art

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley: I love this author. I think she has a beautiful writing style and she knows how to tell a story. Graffiti Moon is a great book for aspiring artists or people who love graffiti since it plays a big role in the story. Shadow is both a mysterious graffiti artist and the love interest to main character Lucy.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson: both Noah and Judy are amazing artists which make me wish I had even ONE artistic bone in my body.

What do you think about my fictional school syllabus? Would you dread reading these books? Which ones would you choose? Also, does anyone know of a chemistry-related (YA) book because I couldn’t find any?? Let me know!

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Turtles All the Way Down: Countdown + John Green reads Chapter 1

Hello, friends!

I’m interrupting my weekly schedule to bring you a new post today. This was unplanned but I stumbled upon this article and decided I had to talk about it. Which article?

It’s an article (or an announcement, I guess) by Penguin Random House International. They’re preparing for John Green’s new book, Turtles All the Way Down, by reading one of his previous books each week leading up to the release on October 10th and they’re inviting us to read along with them. You can share thoughts, quotes, and pictures through #TurtlesAlltheWayCountDown and there’s a chance for you to win one of his books!

Here’s the schedule they’re following.

Week 1: Looking for Alaska (Sept 4- Sept 10)
Read and discuss the book/share your favorite quotes/share your photos using #TurtlesAlltheWayCountDown
Looking for Alaska Giveaway (open for entries Sept 4-11): Enter here

Week 2: An Abundance of Katherines (Sept 11- Sept 17)
Read and discuss the book/share your favorite quotes/share your photos using #TurtlesAlltheWayCountDown
An Abundance of Katherines Giveaway (open for entries Sept 11-18): Enter here

Week 3: Paper Towns (Sept 18- Sept 24)
Read and discuss the book/share your favorite quotes/share your photos using #TurtlesAlltheWayCountDown
Paper Towns Signed (!) Copy Giveaway (open for entries Sept 18-25): Enter here

Week 4: Will Grayson, Will Grayson (Sept 25- Oct 1)
Read and discuss the book/share your favorite quotes/share your photos using #TurtlesAlltheWayCountDown
Will Grayson, Will Grayson Giveaway (open for entries Sept 25-Oct 2): Enter here

Week 5: The Fault in Our Stars (Oct 2- Oct 8)
Read and discuss the book/share your favorite quotes/share your photos using #TurtlesAlltheWayCountDown
The Fault in Our Stars Giveaway (open for entries Oct 2-Oct 9): Enter here

Week 6: Turtles All the Way Down (Oct 10- Oct 17)
Hooray! A new John Green novel is HERE! Read Turtles All the Way Down and let us know what you think. Tag @PRHGlobal on Twitter and Penguin Random House International USA on Facebook.
Turtles All the Way Down Giveaway (open for entries Oct 10-Oct 17): Enter here

I love the idea of reading all his books before the new one releases and I’d love to do it. I’m not going to commit myself 100%, but I am going to try and read as many of his books as possible before Turtles All the Way Down releases.

Are you curious what Turtles All the Way Down is all about? Here’s John reading Chapter 1

I have to say, this sounds like it’s going to be an intense read. Those of you who’ve watched John’s videos over the years and / or listened to Dear Hank and John know that John struggles with anxiety (and OCD) himself and it shows from the first chapter he’s read. I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like for him to write about such a personal topic but I applaud him for it even if the books turns out to be not-so-great (which I doubt!) All in all, I’m excited to read it when it comes out!

Are you looking forward to Turtles All the Way Down? Are you going to participate in the countdown? What did you think of Chapter 1? Yay or nay? Let me know in the comments!

 

Some of my favourite BFFs in (YA) Literature

Hello, friends!

We all know it’s very, very common to have romantic relationships in YA literature. In fact, it’s pretty hard to find a YA book where there are no romantic relationships whatsoever. Now, I don’t mind romance at all, but there are times where I wish authors would focus more on friendships because, let’s face it, friends usually outlast romantic interests (even though every author likes their readers to believe their love pairing will stay together FOR EVER). They’re going to be their at your best and your worst (hopefully) and they’re going to love you no matter what you look like or who you are.

In short, friendship is important, y’all, and we need to see more amazing and realistic (!) friendships in (YA) books. If anyone were to ask my opinion – which they’re not, but I’m going to tell you anyway – I’d like to see more friendships likes these in ALL YA books…

  • Frances & Aled in Radio Silence: a boy and a girl who’re friends?? GASP. Shocking, I know, but these two NEVER have any romantic feelings for each other whatsoever. They’re both into the same things–mostly the Universe City podcast but they’re also both fangirls/boys and they like a lot of the same “nerdy” things — and I love how Frances never gave up on Aled even when he was kind of being a jerk (though there’s an explanation for that). That’s what friends are for, you know?
  • Frances & Raine in Radio Silence: I know, I know, I’ve already mentioned this book, but Alice Oseman really knows how to write friendship. I love Frances’ dorkiness combined with Raine’s I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude and her sassiness. She had some of the best lines in the book.
  • Cath & Reagan in Fangirl: these two are kind of similar to Frances & Raine. Reagan is blunt, sassy, and kind of mean sometimes whereas Cath is shy, awkward, and a huge fangirl (obviously, hence the title). They’re from two different worlds, but they still make a great pair.
  • Harry & Ron in Harry Potter: the OG bromance as far as I’m concerned.
  • Simon & Abby in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: I’ve expressed my love for these two many times before and I’m going to do it again. Simon is precious and Abby is a rockstar (not literally, but you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read the book). They’re recent friends but that doesn’t make their bond any less strong, which just goes to show you that you don’t have to know someone a gazillion years for them to be your BFF.
  • Pudge & The Colonel in Looking for Alaska: This friendship is a little one-sided at first with Chip (the Colonel) helping Miles (Pudge) to break out of his shell but things get better as Miles grows more comfortable around his new friends and in his new life. Their frienship really shines when THAT happens to Alaska.
  • Rufus & The Plutos in They Both Die at the End: I don’t want to say too much since the book hasn’t been released yet, but these guys have each other’s back. They’d do anything for each other and it’s beautiful.
  • Mallory & Ainsley in the Problem with Forever: another drama-free friendship between girls. Mallory struggles to talk but she finds a way to be there for Ainsley when she needs her the most and Ainsley always has Mallory’s back even when she has her own issues to deal with.

SPECIAL MENTIONS

While making this list, I was thinking about other friendships I really like and want to share but don’t fit in the YA lit category. But this is my blog and I can do what I like, so here you go…

  • Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas in the Lord of the Rings: Legolas & Gimli have the best ever friendly rivalry and Aragorn is there to lead them and make sure they don’t actually kill each other (at least at first). It’s a great dynamic of fun and brooding.

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  • Mr Bingley & Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice: Mr Darcy is kind of a jerk in the beginning, but if you look at it from his POV, he was just protecting his best friend from what (he thought was) a bad relationship. And he comes around in the end so all is forgiven.
  • Bucky & Steve in Captain America: Talk about never giving up on someone…

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Do you like my choices? Which are some of your favourites that are not on this list? Do you wish we’d have more friendships in YA or do you think there are plenty? Let me know in the comments!

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Characters I Wish Were My Friends

Hello, friends!

Have you ever thought, “I wish X was my friend” ? I’m sure you have. And so have I, which is why I’m going to share my favourite characters with you. These are the characters I’ve connected with and wish were alive so we could be best friends.

 

Simon & Abby from Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Who doesn’t love Simon? He’s funny, down-to-earth, has a dog named Bieber, he’s sarcastic, loves Oreos, and he’s not one to stir up unnecessary drama. And then there’s Abby who’s energetic, caring, sweet, strong, and understanding.

Henry from Words in Deep Blue
He might be a complete idiot sometimes but he’s not afraid to go after what he wants, he writes letters (!), he’s passionate about books, and he’s a great friend.

Frances & Raine from Radio Silence
Frances might seem like your everyday “nerd” who lives to study and get good grades, but she’s got a lot more layers than you’d think. She’s a complete fangirl, an artist, and she’s got a cool sense of fashion (including Monsters Inc. leggings!)

Raine is an I-don’t-care-about-this kind of girl who actually does care. A lot. Especially about her friends, who she’d do anything for. Plus, she’s got the best one-liners so she’s good fun.

Reagan from Fangirl
Man, I’d love to read a book about Reagan. She’s a no-bullshit character who stands up for herself and for what she believes in. Sure, she might come across as rude at first, but she cares about her friends (even though she’d hate to admit it) and she’d do anything to help them out.

Ron from Harry Potter
This one needs no introduction. Anyone would be happy to have him as their best friend.

Griffin from History is All You Left Me
He makes a lot of mistakes this one, but he always follows his heart. I really admire that and I wish I did the same.

Alaska from Looking for Alaska
Sweet one moment, mean the other, Alaska takes some getting used to. She’s deeply flawed and troubled, but she’s a good person at heart. You’d never be bored with her at your side.

Henry from We Are the Ants
He’s deeply and depressingly nihilistic sometimes but also funny and sweet (despite the things he goes through). He cares about his family more than anything and he’s always looking to do right by them. And mostly I just want to be friends with him so I can give him a hug and tell him everything’s going to be okay.

Who do you wish was your best friend? Let me know in the comments!

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My 7 Bookish & Reading Confessions

  1. 90% of the time, I read on the train. I’ve mentioned this before, but, for those of you who don’t know, my commute to work takes 2+ hours every day. The train ride takes an hour, which means I get two hours of reading time every day. And, to be honest, I think I would’ve quit my job a long time ago if I didn’t have that time to read… Anyway, since I read a lot during my commute I rarely read when I’m home. Sometimes I read during the weekend but only when it’s a really good book I can’t wait to finish. If it’s not, I take the weekend to relax and catch up on my TV shows, watch a movie, and go to the gym.
  2. Sometimes, I dog-ear my page. I know, I know. A lot of people absolutely can’t stand the idea of it so if that’s you, please don’t yell at me 😀 In my defence, I only do it when I’ve lost my bookmark and I know I’m not going to remember where I stopped. And I really hate trying to find my pages, so yeah…

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    (Also, I smooth the page out when I’ve found my bookmark. I promise)
  3. I don’t have an e-reader so I read digital copies on my laptop. A book blogger who doesn’t have an e-reader?? Weird, right? The truth is I never liked the idea of reading ebooks until recently (when I started getting approved for e-ARCs). So far, I’ve read ebooks on my computer (which is also convenient because I can read during my lunch break and no one even notices) but I have to admit I’m thinking of buying one because 1) I wouldn’t have to bring my book with me anymore (those things can be heavy, you know!) 2) ebooks are cheaper than physical ones and 3) if I’ve finished reading one book, I can start on another right away!

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    I love this movie and him. Mostly him
  4. I hate spoilers…unless I go looking for them myself. So, here’s the thing. I really don’t appreciate people spoiling a book / movie / TV show for me BUT sometimes, I’ll go looking for spoilers myself. This usually happens when I’m really invested in a book and I CAN’T WAIT to find out if my favourite character makes it to the end of the book, my OTP stays together, etc. So, yeah, sometimes I skip to the end and look for signs that everything will be okay.source
  5. I buy all my books. Look, I really wish I lived in an English speaking country where I could go to the library or go to secondhand book shops…but I don’t.giphy (10)Buying books is literally the ONLY WAY for me to be able to read books that aren’t 5+ years old. Does this mean I spend a lot of money on books? Yes. Do I regret it? No. Books are life.
  6. Sometimes I lie about having read a book. I know, I know. Lying is bad and you shouldn’t do it, but I can’t help myself sometimes. I just don’t want to be “that girl/blogger” who hasn’t read this or that book. It’s stupid, I know.

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    Other unrelated confession: I kind of like Kim. She’s not all bad.
  7. I’m kind of a hypocrite when it comes to “read whatever you want”. I’m all for reading whatever you want and I HATE IT when people look down on me for reading YA BUT…I have to admit I sometimes judge people for liking a particular book. Yes, I’m talking about the people who’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey and loved it. Obviously, I don’t tell them, and I know I shouldn’t judge but I just…can’t. I’m sorry.

What are some of your reading and bookish confessions? Let me know in the comments!

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August Releases: 5 YA Books You Should Add to Your TBR Right Now

Hello, friends!

How are you today? Ready to tackle the new week?

No?

Then let me cheer you up by talking about some new releases to look forward to this August! There are a lot of good YA books coming out this month but, no worries, I’ve only picked out my top 5 because your TBR is probably too long already, am I right? (and I don’t want you to hate me for adding 31205454 new books)

  1. A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor: “Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them.”
    Literally since they’re wrecked on an island together…with a boy. Yes, the boy drives them apart (didn’t see that one coming, right?) but I’ve heard the relationship between the sisters is strong and it’s not as cliché as it sounds. (Also, the cover is gorgeous. You need it in your life.)
  2. Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens: “As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.  But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods…and maybe with Janie Lee, too.”
    A YA book about a girl who isn’t sure about her sexuality. Religion also plays a (big?) part, I believe.
  3. Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert:When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support. But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with.”
    Yay for a brother-sister relationship (we need more siblings in YA!), albeit a complicated one.
  4. Wonder Woman – Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo: “She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .”
    It’s a book about Wonder Woman. Enough said.   
  5. A Change is Gonna Come: “Featuring top Young Adult authors alongside a host of exciting new talent, this anthology of stories and poetry from BAME writers on the theme of change is a long-overdue addition to the YA scene.”
    I suspect this to be an important and inspiring read.

Are you looking forward to any of these books? Which books are you excited for in August?

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